Dear family and friends,

Happy New Year! I hope that this email finds you having enjoyed some quality time with your loved ones over the last few weeks.

As you would be aware one of the big changes since I last wrote to you has been the rapidly increasing number of COVID cases in Queensland. Indeed we have not been untouched with three of our staff having now tested positive and one resident.

We are well aware of the very real impact that this virus could have on our staffing numbers as the number of people who have COVID within the communities we live and work increases at a faster rate than was expected by the Queensland Government. We have certainly looked at the strategies we can employ to offset this potential impact but unfortunately if the current predictions of the number of cases proves to be correct we may struggle to have enough staff in the future.

As such we are reaching out to you now to ask whether you would be willing to assist us should this eventuate. We have a program in place where family members can register to be Partners In Care who we can call on should we reach the point of needing some extra help. This would of course be a last resort (unless you would like to start now) but we would rather plan for the worst and hope for the best as opposed to waiting until it is too late to ask for help. As such, we are asking now for anyone who is fully vaccinated and willing to assist us with basic support of their loved ones to contact our Care Managers to register their willingness to be a Partner In Care.

Being a Partner In Care has advantages including for example the ability to continue visiting our sites during a lockdown as Partners In Care are typically exempted from the restrictions given they are an active part of the carers team.

Another option is that you may be willing to have your loved one stay with you for an extended period of time (a week or longer). This would of course be a temporary measure and the resident would be able to return at any stage should there be a need. We are also looking at what in-home support we could provide during this time but as we would be looking to this as a way to reduce the strain on our staff there will likely be limited options. Finally, we would also provide a supply of Rapid Antigen Tests so that those caring for their loved one could monitor their own and the residents condition should COVID like symptoms develop.

Given the current escalation and the impact COVID has already had on our locations, despite all of our efforts I strongly encourage everyone (residents and visitors) to ensure that they are fully vaccinated (including the booster if available) to reduce the severity of COVID and further to reduce how likely they are to infect others. Also if you have any symptoms at all please do not visit our sites, the risks at this time are simply too great. There are no guarantees but hopefully if we all do our part we can limit the impact on those around us.

Despite the above I want to assure you that we are not simply going to sit back and wait for COVID to impact each of our sites, far from it. Indeed given the current case numbers and that the Chief Health Officer and the Premier say that that they do not know what the true case numbers are and, that it will get much worse before it gets better, we will also be implementing some changes effective from Wednesday the 12th of January.

These include:

  • No external visits by residents with family and friends or on excursions unless it relates to the resident going on extended leave as discussed above. The risk at present is simply too high given the exploding number of cases in the community.
  • All visitors to our sites, who are already required to be fully vaccinated, will also be asked to visit in designated outdoor locations or in special areas where social distancing can be observed (obviously this only applies when visiting is available).
  • Unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated persons wishing to visit a resident (providing the unit or facility is not in lockdown) in specially set aside outside areas will be required to bring with them an unused TGA approved Rapid Antigen Test which will be administered by one of our staff. A negative result will obviously be required for the visit to take place. External visits are still mandatory for unvaccinated visitors due to the current Queensland Government Aged Care direction.
  • When visiting is available, visitors will only be able to commence their visit between 10am and 3pm each day unless special arrangements have been agreed to with the Care Manager or the visitor is a Partner In Care and they are entering at a time agreed to assist with cares.

Finally, we will be conducting a virtual town hall meeting for each of our sites over the next couple of weeks. At this meeting we will be discussing the contents of this email and providing an opportunity for you to let us know if you have any suggestions or ideas as well as ask any questions you may have regarding our management of the COVID pandemic. If you would like to be involved, please reply to this email with your name and the site you are involved with and we will come back to you shortly with the time and date.

Please keep an eye out for further communications via email and on our website as the situation is constantly evolving at present and we may need to make further changes as events unfold on a day-by-day basis.

Once again, I thank each of you for your support and understanding. We very much appreciate the way that you all seek to support your loved ones and our team each day.


Eric Anderson

Adventist Retirement Plus
Seventh-day Adventist Aged Care (South Queensland) Ltd
P 07 3218 7777

400 Boundary St, Spring Hill QLD, 4000 | PO Box 577, Spring Hill QLD, 4004